Saturday, April 05, 2008

More on the AGW backlash 

British journalist Nigel Lawson has picked up where Bjorn Lomborg has left off: "The REAL inconvenient truth: Zealotry over global warming could damage our Earth far more than climate change". This bit raises a question I have wondered about:

First, then, what is happening? Given that nowadays pretty well every adverse development in the natural world is automatically attributed to global warming, perhaps the most surprising fact about it is that it is not, in fact, happening at all. The truth is that there has so far been no recorded global warming at all this century.

The world's temperature rose about half a degree centigrade during the last quarter of the 20th century; but even the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research - part of Britain's Met Office and a citadel of the current global warming orthodoxy - has now conceded that recorded temperature figures for the first seven years of the 21st century reveal there has been a standstill.

The centre now officially expects global warming to resume at some point between 2009 and 2014.

Maybe it will. But the fact that the present lull was not predicted by any of the complex computer models upon which the global warming orthodoxy relies is clear evidence that the science of what determines the world's temperature is distinctly uncertain and far from "settled".

We have already noted that the first two months of 2008 were only the "22nd warmest" January and February on record globally, the ranking in quotation marks because of the short duration of the continuous data sets. That factoid and Lawson's essay does raise a question that I have often wondered about: How well have climate models actually predicted global temperature changes? That is, if we examine the predictions of the best climate models extant 5, 10, and 20 years ago, how well have their forecasts held up? A few minutes of Googling got me nowhere, but you guys may have more free time today than I do. If anybody out there finds such an analysis, please post the link in the comments.



By Blogger Andrew X, at Sat Apr 05, 12:41:00 PM:

I have been saying for some time (because I am so brilliant, etc etc) that the seeds of some real future blowback are being sown today.

Bloggers (particularily the incomparable Tim Blair) have been chronicling the almost abusive subjecting of schoolchildren to highly dubious environmental propoganda, of polar bears drowning or starving from lack of ice, blah blah, death to us all by warming, and so forth.

And what can almost be counted on from growing kids? That when they get to be 15 to 25 years old, the majority will turn on their elders, because they (the kids) are SO much smarter. We all know the drill - been there, done that, T-shirt...

Well, let's add to that a few cold winters like the one we just finished. Let's go forward five or ten years, and see that global warming has either been thoroughly discredited, or at least is still not proven. (If it IS proven, then it IS. But I think not.)

So just what do these now grown children think of the bill of goods they have been sold all their lives, and of those shilling it? What do they think of a whole host of issues that have nothing to do with the environment, but are being peddled by the same snake-charmers for the exact same "save the world" reasons?

One can today see the very same reaction to the threats to the greens "religion" as we do elsewhere in the world to other, ahem, unnamed faiths.

It HAS to be true. HAS to be. Too much is at stake.

So when today's 5 and 10 year olds are 15 and 20, and it all just ain't so.... could get interesting.  

By Blogger randian, at Sat Apr 05, 02:11:00 PM:

"So just what do these now grown children think of the bill of goods they have been sold all their lives, and of those shilling it?"

Nothing, most likely. People have an amazing ability to reject evidence for their world view, especially if it's deep and long held.  

By Blogger Andrew X, at Sat Apr 05, 03:35:00 PM:

A good point, but the children of the sixties proved very adept at rejecting what the world of the fifties had taught them.

If global warming is revealed to be the fraud that many say it is (my jury is still out, but it's starting to move in that direction), I submit it will in fact have a huge effect on a lot of people who will feel profoundly and cynically manipulated, as children no less.

Guess we shall see.  

By Blogger davod, at Sat Apr 05, 06:54:00 PM:

The problem is now. Man Made Global Warming has infected the governments of the world. They are in the process of spending trillions on offset progrmas.

McCain said the other day that this is a foremost problem of our time and we need to embrace the new market mechanisms in place to to resolve this. He thinks cap and trade is the way to the future.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 06, 01:45:00 AM:

Davod daid:

> McCain said the other day that
> this is a foremost problem of
> our time and we need to embrace
> the new market mechanisms in
> place to to resolve this. He
> thinks cap and trade is the way
> to the future.

Actually this is possibly the best solution by far.

For the fact, I am not a believer of AGW or even GW. I am simply not qualified to say if it happens or not. I can, on the other hand, safely claim, that the most of most of the people who claim that there is A/GW are as unqualified as I am to claim that it is a real problem. So I approach the problem not by the scientific facts (which I cannot judge) but by trying to look behind the scenes.

Having said that, it is obvious that I think that this cap and trade is a "bad solution" for a quite possibly non-existent problem. The reason I think this is the best is because it "only" screws the economy. That something we can always repair.

What about the alternative solutions?

Anybody heard about sending billions of "umbrellas" up into space to block the sunlight? OK, what happens if it works? If it works too well? Can we manipulate those billions of umbrellas if they block too much light?

Or what about throwing iron powder into the sea in order to help algaes? What happens if we successfully screw the ecosystem on the sea? Can we undo it?

Don't forget the another great plan of shooting up sulphur into the air to alter the air chemistry.

These "solutions" can easily turn into something irreversible.

So this is why I think this cap and trade is the best (read least bad) "solution". We only screw the economy, and we can also reserve it.


PS. In Canada's National Post, there was a series of articles, the "Deniers", where in each article, a scientist was introduced who didn't agree with the "official" line about GW. The author of the articles, Lawrence Solomon, has now a book called "The Deniers".

A link to the book as well as the articles can be read here:


By Blogger Miss Ladybug, at Sun Apr 06, 02:25:00 AM:

While I am no climatologist, I have been saying for a while that the earth's climate is far to complex to accurately model, and that we don't know what we don't know. The fact that all these AGW "proving" climate models did not predict this current "plateau" just proves my point. I'm a new elementary school teacher who has yet to have her own classroom. Whenever I do have one, I WILL NOT be foisting AGW "science" lessons on my students. One can teach students to be good stewards of our nature resources without scaremongering about how humans are destroying the planet...  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Sun Apr 06, 02:30:00 AM:

My wife and I attended our son's Little League game in Mountain View, California yesterday (Saturday). Normally by April California is pretty balmy but we were freezing our butts off. I said to my wife, "Let's go drive our cars around for a while to warm things up."  

By Blogger Andrew X, at Sun Apr 06, 11:24:00 AM:

If the trend of last winter continues (not a surety by any means), and we really did see a significant cooling, noe that began to affect crops and raise heating prices, etc.....

D'ya think we should advocate pumping much more CO2 into the atmosphere? Fire up the Hummers? Dirty up those factories?

That's a joke of course, but think about it. Is that not the EXACT logical conclusion that one draws from what is being said by so many warmeners? If we KNOW (ahem) that CO2 produced by Man is causing warming, and many certainly do seem to "know", then obviously if cooling became an issue, then more CO2 is the clear answer.

As an aside, I heard a saying once: Beware of any "crisis" that will demand that you behave exactly as those proclaiming the crisis have been demanding that you behave all along.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sun Apr 06, 12:50:00 PM:

The root of the real problem is given away in a couple of the comments.
"Belief" or "non-belief".

If Anthropogenic Global Warming is indeed happening, then we need more conclusive science to prove it, not some silly "consensus" or "belief".

Science stands on truth and provable theories. The computer modeling performed to predict all this is just an complex intellectual excercise comparable to divining the entrails of animals at the Oracle of Delphi 2300 years ago.

The differential equations used as a foundation for computer modeling were recently re-derived and found to be missing a boundary limit factor, which puts much of this sort of "prediction" into question.

Are we going through a solar activity minimum, analogous to the Maunder Minimum of a previous era? How important is solar forcing of the climate, for either heating or cooling?
We...just...don't ...know.


By Blogger Brent Buckner, at Sun Apr 06, 03:21:00 PM:

Lucia at The Blackboard is doing an interesting series on how well the most general IPCC AR4 forecast/projection has held up.

The latest is here:

Roger Pielke Sr. had a letter to _Nature Geoscience_:

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